Halloween arrives tomorrow, Friday, and many of Sag Harbor’s shops will be ready and waiting for after-school trick-or-treaters. The kids will know which shops throughout the business district to visit by the pumpkin signs in their windows and doors. They mean those shops are participants in the Chamber of Commerce’s Pumpkin Trail, which is intended to offer a safe route for younger children to follow when they go out trick-or-treating.With the glow of summer still in our hearts, even as the leaves fall and the days turn breezy and brisk, it’s hard to believe Eastern Standard Time returns at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Daylight saving-time will return at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8, 2015. (We can’t wait.) And don’t forget Election Day! It’s coming up on Tuesday.
We took the ghost tour Saturday evening offered as a benefit for the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum. With about 25 other tour-goers, none of whom we recognized from among the characters in our Sag Harbor lives, we followed former Sag Harbor Express writer-editor Annette Hinkle and retired high school teacher Tony Garro on a mile-long, two-hour trek to hear many tales of poltergeists and brooding spirits.
They did a great job charming us with quirky tales of Sag Harbor we’d never heard before. We especially liked the fairly recent story of the little girl who always waved back at her family home, which happened to be the Hannibal French house, on Main Street every time she and her mother drove out the driveway. When her mother asked why, the child said she was just responding to the man with the red beard who always waved at her from an upstairs bedroom window. Yikes.
Then there was the tall, bearded man in 19th-century garb who has been seen over the years more than once standing by the walkway behind the 18th-century building that now houses Buddhaberry. As Tony and Annette explained it, there’s a suspicion among some local believers that a major renovation—like the gutting and makeover that building underwent a year or so ago—clears out all the lingering spooks. He hasn’t been seen since.
That might help explain why there have been no new stories about the former Maycroft estate on North Haven, also once known as the Tuller School, where some seriously weird stuff went on before its current private owner moved in. The stories involve an old dresser in an upstairs servant’s room that sweated and made its drawers fly in and out when angry. The house has been relocated on the property and totally renovated. As for the dresser, one day it broke itself into pieces. Anger isn’t good for anyone.
Darkness was falling by the time we reached the Old Burying Ground next to the Whalers’ Church. I don’t think anyone had the creeps; the stories were too much fun and the setting was just too serene and charming for that. After stopping at the cemetery’s highest point to hear some tales about the church, we descended the graveyard’s north side onto Union Street. Looking around, we felt as if we were in a 19th- or even 18th-century community. The only structures in sight, obscured behind shadowy trees and shrubs but with windows aglow in warm light, all dated from the village’s earlier days.
What a lovely place we’ve got here, ghosts and all.
Did you know that the restored cap or lantern of the 1868 Cedar Point Lighthouse is perched on the lawn of the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum? We didn’t until we gathered for the ghost tour and spotted it. Usually far off in the distance, way across the bay out there at Cedar Point, the cap was instead right there beside us, having undergone repairs at the Sag Harbor Yacht Yard this summer. It will be reinstalled at the lighthouse next year after the next phase of ongoing restoration work is completed: a new roof and new windows and doors at the lighthouse.
To find out about helping with the restoration effort, which needs $200,000 for the next phase, just search for “Cedar Point Lighthouse” and “Long Island Chapter U.S. Lighthouse Society,” which has charged Suffolk County, its owner, with putting the landmark back in shape. Everybody who donates will get a free lighthouse area tour run by Bob Allen, the grandson of the last keeper of the lighthouse, which was decommissioned in the 1930s.
Author Gail Sheahy, one of Sag Harbor’s many literary lights, will be the guest speaker at the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons Book-and-Author Luncheon on Friday, November 14 from 12 to 3 p.m. at Cowfish Restaurant at 258 East Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays on Shinnecock Canal. Ms. Sheehy will speak about her new memoir, “Daring: My Passages,” about her professional career and private life.
The author of 17 books, including the phenomenal bestseller “Passages” in 1976, Ms. Sheehy has written for New York magazine and Vanity Fair and profiled Bill and Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein and Mikhail Gorbachev. Copies of her book will be available for purchase and signing at the luncheon.
RSVPs must be received no later than November 10. Send a check for $60, made out to “LWV Hamptons,” to Gladys Remler at 180 Melody Court, Eastport, N.Y. 11941. For questions, call (631) 288-9021.
Author Linda Coleman will read from her new memoir, “Radical Descent: The Cultivation of an American Radical,” at Canio’s Books on Main Street on Saturday, November 1, from 5 to 6 p.m. Ms. Coleman, who lives on the East End, has taught memoir writing for incarcerated women, works as a nurse and is a Zen monk.
Also at Canio’s on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., the bookstore’s Ms. Sigrid will read a spooky tale, perfect for kids age 4 and up with an accompanying adult. Ms. Sigrid is an experienced storyteller and former elementary school teacher in the Tuckahoe School District.
“America’s Boating Course,” which is required for solo boaters born after May 1, 1996 but is also a great refresher for all other weekend mariners, will be offered in Sag Harbor by the Peconic Bay Power Squadron. It’s coming up on Wednesday, November 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Pierson High School Library at 200 Jermain Avenue.
The course will cover boating law, safety equipment, safe boating practices, navigation, boating emergencies, personal watercraft, charts, GPS, trailering and much more. Attendees will receive a 244-page “America’s Boating Course” manual, companion CD and—after passing an exam—a completion certificate. Many insurance companies offer discounts to boaters who earn the certificate.
The course costs $60. Participants must be at least 10 years old on or before December 10, 2014. To reserve a space, call Vince Mauceri at (631) 725-3679 or visit “www.PBPS.us.”